If you look at the comments on any Taco Bell social media post, you’ll notice a common theme: people begging for the return of the Mexican Pizza.
It’s been more than a year since this classic concoction has graced the palate of any American. But after much campaigning (and complaining), Taco Bell fans are finally getting their wish. At least we’re like 99% sure.
Before we explore the new incarnation, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see how T-Bell changed the game with the Mexican Pizza, and why they nixed it from the menu last year.
The History of Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza
Taco Bell debuted its Mexican Pizza in 1985. However, it launched with a different name: Pizzazz Pizza, which was marketed as a midnight snack. Three years later, Taco Bell renamed the dish Mexican Pizza. The tagline was simple yet promising: “It’s like pizza, but it’s different.”
The original Mexican Pizza recipe featured beans and ground beef between two crispy flour tortilla shells (the crust), topped with shredded cheese, tomatoes, salsa, onions, and black olives. The Mexican Pizza garnered a cult following and was a staple on Taco Bell’s menu for more than three decades, delighting people of all ages and walks of life.
Why, then, would Taco Bell ax this beloved menu item at a time when people were desperate for comfort?
Why Taco Bell Bid Farewell to the Mexican Pizza
On September 3, 2020, Taco Bell released a statement that sent shockwaves across America. As part of an initiative to “provide a more efficient restaurant experience,” the fast-food chain would be discontinuing three items—most notably the Mexican Pizza.
The decision puzzled many, considering the popularity of the item. But it appeared to be a logistics issue as opposed to the issue of a profit—understandable given the immense pressure to keep up with drive-thru orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know some fans may be sad to see this one go; we are too.” said Taco Bell. “One silver lining of saying goodbye to the Mexican Pizza that might help you rest easy is that removing it from our menus helps us work towards our commitment to leave a lighter footprint on our planet. Currently, Mexican Pizza packaging accounts for over 7 million pounds of paperboard material per year in the U.S.”
That explanation wasn’t enough to appease the masses. The Takeout called the move “egregious.” Fans on social media decried the decision, creating multiple Twitter accounts dedicated to saving the Mexican Pizza. One person even started a Change.org petition, which has more than 170,000 signatures.
“This is an item loved by many, especially the South Asian community,” wrote Krish Jagirdar, the organizer. “Losing this item would not only be the loss of one of our favorite foods but a piece of our childhood & heritage as Indian Americans.”
T-Bell’s execs must have had their ears to the ground because a year later, they hatched a plan to resurrect the Mexican Pizza.
When Will the Mexican Pizza Return?
Taco Bell has yet to announce an official return date for the Mexican Pizza. As of this writing, their online menu says it’s not available (yet). However, you can still preview the item, which they call a “love child of Mexican and Italian cuisine.”
The newest iteration of the Mexican Pizza retails for $3.89, clocks in at 530 calories, and lots of delicious carbohydrates. The standard version features the signature crisp pizza shell, seasoned beef, beans, a three-cheese blend, and tomatoes.
Carnivores can swap their beef with chicken or steak, and vegetarians can sub refried beans or black beans. The menu also features several add-ons, including onions, sour cream, guacamole, green onions, seasoned rice, and jalapeno peppers.
Below the list of available sauces for the Mexican Pizza is a message, titled “Give Peace a Chance,” which is probably the most sentimental product description you’ll ever read.
“When different cultures get along, they start swapping recipes… One clear example of cultural companionship at work is the Mexican Pizza. Two delicioso cuisines with a dash of peaceful engagement created an even more delicioso product. Without peace, there would be no Mexican Pizza.”
Amen to that.
Beyond Taco Bell’s official messaging, rumors about the future of the Mexican Pizza are buzzing online. In December 2021, the blog Living Mas obtained a leaked video from a Taco Bell franchise convention in Colorado Springs earlier that fall. The footage allegedly shows Mike Grams (Taco Bell’s VP and COO) and Liz Matthews (Chief Food Innovation Officer) speaking on stage with Mexican Pizza artwork displayed behind them.
Per the transcript, Grams and Matthews teased ideas to elevate the Mexican Pizza with a double-cheese version, a 7-layer version, a spicy chorizo topping, and even a cinnamon-chocolate dessert variation.
To the tune of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore,” Grams exclaimed, “We’re bringing back the Mexican Pizza!”
The Mexican Pizza will also reportedly come in a new eco-friendly carrier, a nod to T-Bell’s sustainability initiative.
Is Your Butt Ready for the Return of the Mexican Pizza?
Taco Bell gets a bad rap for making people poop. But it’s not really fair to blame the restaurant—it’s just science.
Taco sauce (or any spicy food for that matter) contains capsaicin, the ingredient in hot peppers that can trigger bowel movements. Meat, beans, and dairy are also notorious for revving up your colon. Throw all of that into one beef burrito or soft taco, and you’ve got a one-way ticket to the toilet.
Don’t let a dirty bum ruin this life-changing experience. Take a DUDE Wipe to Taco Bell and enjoy your Mexican Pizza with the confidence of knowing you’ll be able to clean even the most explosive deuce.